I couldn’t even tell you how long I’ve been reading reading Erika’s blog, Small Shop, for it feels as if it’s always been a part of my life. I’ve long admired her eye for style, and couldn’t wait for us to get in and take a deeper look at the woman behind it all. Captured by our dear Bryce Covey , her home is literally bursting with beauty and you can see it all (and more!) right here.

SMP: Some words you live by?

EB: “Work well, play well.” Do good work for good people and work with integrity and purpose. Be present for your family and friends, and take time out for yourself to constantly try new things, reinvent yourself, remain inspired to learn and grow….it all helps you in the end to produce that good work and truly love what you do.

SMP: Any guilty pleasures?

EB: A glass of wine and a décor or fashion mag to flip through as I’m cooking dinner. (And silly dance parties with my daughter around the kitchen.)

SMP: What did you think your dream job was before your dream job found you?

EB: I must have had several grandiose ideas about working in a gallery in New York after receiving my degree in Art History, or in an editorial position for a magazine (don’t we all?). I did get to live in New York, but found that I enjoyed working for myself more than the jobs I was interviewing for at that time. It all works out.

SMP: What’s your favorite quote that describes your creative process?

EB: “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe. I definitely think the same in what I do – I help my clients find what their brand styles are, what makes their companies unique, and how to translate and communicate that visually. The ultimate goal: brand recognition.

SMP: If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?

EB: Think outside of your little world, push yourself out of your comfort zone. That could mean volunteering and making a difference in someone else’s life, and/or trying something new to expand your own life’s experiences. It’s all a journey, and yes, you should take it!

SMP: If you could do it all over again, would you change anything?

EB: It’s never too late to change your situation! Right now I’m considering hiring a part-time assistant with a communications or marketing background that can also take on some of the admin work off my plate. I’ve been working solo for a long time, but I’d like to mentor a proactive recent grad looking to become an entrepreneur too.

SMP: What is one piece of advice you would give to a blogger just starting out?

EB: Experiment, but find your style, become an expert in it, be true to it. The point isn’t to please everyone; it’s to use your blog as a vehicle for your own creativity and stylistic development. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to find inspiration and create content when you stick with what you love. Your readers will be loyal and you’ll make your mark!

SMP: What was the tipping point in your business that made you feel like your blog was going to thrive?

EB: It was a part of my early strategy to decorate my house and photograph it to get onto MadeByGirl’s Blogger Home series. From there, La Dolce Vita picked it up, but traffic increased significantly after my feature on Glitter Guide about two years ago. See the most recent tour right here.

SMP: What is the hardest lesson in business you’ve ever learned?

EB: Be communicative and don’t assume that your clients are invested in the creative process. I’ve learned to make my clients do a lot of “homework” before I’ll even start design – it helps them get clear about their vision so we can create something really special together. I’ve been lucky to have had only a few clients in my 11 years of doing this that have not been able to do so for whatever reason, which no doubt results in a challenging experience all around. Ideally, we’re on the same page throughout the project. It’s a collaborative process!

SMP: If you could buy yourself a single gift of any cost, what would it be?

EB: A trip to Portofino…ciao!

Photography: Bryce Covey Photography | Interview: Erika Of Small Shop